PORTLAND -- Some Portland business leaders have urged the mayor to force Occupy Portland demonstrators out of their downtown encampments.
In a letter to Mayor Sam Adams, Portland Business Alliance members said while they support the group s right to free speech they don t feel that occupying the parks is a necessity.
Well you can get out your free speech rights in a reasonable time, place and manner that are allowed, said Shane Abma with PBA, camping is not necessarily required to get this message out.
The Business Alliance said it respects the rights of people to assemble and protest but the camping in the park has gone too far. They also expressed concerns that having so many people living in the park was creating health issues.
Meantime, Newsradio KXL reported that Commissioner Amanda Fritz addressed protesters Wednesday, saying city officials should respect the freedom of assembly and the freedom of speech enshrined in the Constitution.
My personal belief, Fritz said, is that those freedoms in the Constitution trump the camping ordinance in the code that says you can t be in parks overnight.
Occupy Portland set up camps in Chapman and Lownsdale Square parks nearly two weeks ago.
The Portland Tribune reported that Fritz gave no indication she or her fellow council members were prepared to make the campers leave.
Adams had not responded to the PBA letter as of Wednesday afternoon.